ELLICOTT CITY, MD – To help raise awareness about and in alignment with Protect Week (June 13th to June 17th) and World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15th), Howard County’s Department of Community Resources and Services’ (DCRS) will host an Elder Abuse Awareness Resource Fair on Saturday, June 11th from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. outside at 9830 Patuxent Woods Drive in Columbia. In the event of inclement weather, the Fair will be held inside DCRS’ offices.
Elder abuse - whether physical, psychological, financial or sexual - violates trust and basic human rights and is a scourge we cannot and we will not ignore. While elder abuse affects hundreds of thousands of people each year, only one in 14 cases is brought to the attention of authorities. Through this resource fair, we hope to educate our older residents and their families on the warning signs of elder abuse and how to remain vigilant.
Hosted by DCRS’s Office on Aging and Independence and held in collaboration with DCRS’ Office of Consumer Protection and AARP Maryland, the Fair will feature representatives from AARP Maryland, Howard County Police Department, Howard County Sheriff’s Office, CCCSMD, Age-Friendly Howard County, the Howard County Department of Social Services and other community partners, as well as giveaways and refreshments while supplies last.
In addition, the Fair will also feature a document shredding event, where attendees can shred up to two boxes of personal documents (no business documents) per vehicle on-site. Pre-registration is required to participate in the shredding event. To reserve your shredding time slot, visit https://bit.ly/HoCoShred.
Identity theft is a problem for all, but older adults are particularly vulnerable because they are more likely to have significant assets – savings, investments, paid-off mortgages, good credit and Federal entitlement checks. People over age 50 control at least 70 percent of our nation's household net worth. During Protect Week and on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we want to make sure everyone learns how to spot and fight back against fraud so they can protect themselves and their families.
“Identity thieves need access to your personal information, bills and other records. So, it’s important to shred those documents when they are no longer needed,” says Tracy Rezvani, Office of Consumer Protection Administrator.
Protect Week is a statewide awareness campaign aimed at protecting older Americans from financial exploitation. The campaign provides Marylanders with information about the many forms of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of older adults. Of the many forms, financial abuse is the most common type of elder abuse and statistics show the average elder victim of this type of abuse loses upwards of $120,000. Being able to identify financial scams that target older adults is vital to protecting oneself from financial abuse.
To request a sign language interpreter or other accommodations to participate in the Fair, please contact Maryland Access Point one week in advance at 410-313-1234 (voice/relay).
For more information about how you can take a stand against elder abuse in Howard County, visit www.howardcountymd.gov/eldersafety or contact Peters Omoregie 410-313-6498 (voice/relay).